After two seasons of stagnation the game finally started to recover, with a number of new clubs being formed around the city.
The first match of the season on Saturday 21 May was intended to be between the best fourteen MFC players captained by Tom Wills and the next best twenty captained by Henry Harrison, but when Wills failed to turn up Richard Wardill took over as captain of the XIV. Outsiders were included to make it a 17 vs 23 match. A game had been intended the previous Saturday but does not appear to have been played.
Wardill's side wore red and Harrison's blue. The reds were up through two goals from Tait before the sides altered the sides to make the game fairer. Ireland got one goal for the blues but it was disputed, and they had to settle for a consolation to Ogilvie late in the day.
A further scratch match was played the following weekend before the first match of the season - against a combination of Scotch College and Grammar School - the next Saturday. A June 18 scratch match was played between the 'first 15' and 'next 30'. A match scheduled for 1 July against South Yarra was called off when Melbourne didn't appear. South Yarra arrived ready to play but Melbourne chose to stay on their own ground for an intra-club game, with only two or three players appearing at South Yarra.
Another scratch match was played on 28 June, while one more was meant to be played on 9 July, but when the required number of players didn't appear the members decided to play a cricket match instead.
In May the next year the club was reported to have had receipts of 1p, 14s, 6d and expenditure "within a shilling" of that total.
|4 June||Combined Schools||WIN||2-0|
|2 July||Eastern Hill-Royal Park||DRAW||0-1|
W. Aitken, E. Amsinck, F. Armytage, John Baker, A. Balcombe, Wilton Barfoot, R. Barker, W. Barker, Larry Bell, Blackett, G. Brown, Jerry Bryant, HH Budd, Butt, Cahill, Cameron, A. Campbell, C. Campbell, Dal Campbell, Cock, Collis, Combe, Jack Conway, R. Cooper, A. Devlin, Dinwoodie, W. Downes, W. Freame, WJ Greig, Haggett, William Hammersley, H. Hammill, ES Harley, Henry Harrison, C. Hayward, J. Hewitt, H. Hodges, Tom Hope, Ireland, N. Jacomb, Kelly, G. Kennedy, C. Kenworthy, J. MacPherson, W. Martyr, McCormack, J. McNaughton, G. Metcalfe, Motherwell, Murphy, G. Nichols, M. O'Brien, A. Ogilvy, J. Ogilvy, G. O'Mullane, Osborne, W. Perraton, T. Petrie, R. Pinnock, E. Powell, Richardson, J. Shiels, G. Shoosmih, H. Smith, Thomas Smith, E. Stephens, W. Symonds, George Tait, W. Thomas, H. Thompson, JB Thompson, J. Treacy, Trickett, B. Wardill, Richard Wardill, H. Webb, D. Wilke, J. Wilke, E. Wills, Horace Wills, Tom Wills, Woolley, Thomas Wray
E. Wills probably Egbert Wills, L. Bell possibly Larry Bell
Herald - 14/05/1864
Argus - 23/05/1864
Argus - 25/05/1864
Bell's Life - 04/06/1864
Argus - 29/06/1864
Bell's Life - 02/07/1864
Age - 11/07/1864
Leader - 13/05/1865
"Origins of Australian Football: Volume 1" by Mark Pennings